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Definition: traffic pumping

Routing calls from teleconferencing and phone sex providers through rural telephone companies in order to "pump up" traffic and receive extra revenue. As mandated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, rural local exchange carriers (LECs) are allowed to charge high per-minute access fees to the larger regional and long distance carriers for handling calls. The statute was created to compensate rural carriers for their cost of deployment over vast distances in order to serve a small number of customers. However, this became a loophole for third parties to pass traffic through the networks and receive a share of the access fees.